Student trustee strives to succeed
His father describes him as being an amazingly driven individual.That drive led Curtis Grima, Associated Students Inc. vice president of Academic Affairs, to a two-year term as a governor-appointed member of the board of trustees. He began his term as a student trustee last Friday.
In the first year of his term, Grima will be a non-voting member of the board. He will be a voting member during his second year of his term.
As a student trustee, Grima is expected to attend the seven California State University Board of Trustee meetings held annually, as well as various sub-committee meetings. He will receive a $100 per diem for attending the meetings.
Grima's girlfriend and former Sacramento State student, Jenny Hummel, said he is the kind of person who knows what he wants out of life and goes out and gets it."When the most difficult situations present themselves, Curtis always finds a way to achieve his goals," she said. "There is nothing that can stop him."
Grima's ascension through student government started when he decided to pursue journalism. He had a stint as a Hornet staff writer before finding his niche in student government.
"Working on the Hornet staff gave me the opportunity to meet people all over campus," Grima said.Grima said he gained renewed perspective from journalism that made him realize that he can do more."
Writing for The State Hornet, I realized that I could write an article and try to influence others to make change. I realized that, for me, I'd rather be making those decisions myself," Grima said.
In addition to being a government journalism student and an active ASI official, Grima also is a student assistant at the California Environmental Protection Agency.
He is also committed to Sigma Phi Epsilon, a brotherhood, he said, that helped him become involved with the student government at Sac State.Grima's leadership skills as a Sigma Phi Epsilon member gave him the opportunity to move into student government. On the recommendation of Joe Patterson, a Sigma Phi Epsilon brother, Grima was hired as the chief of staff for then-President and fellow brother, Josh Wood.
"Sigma Phi epsilon is good at growing leaders," Grima said. "I joined because it was a social organization that has a strong business and academic mission."
Grima's success comes from a strong network and support of friends and family.
"My family and friends have motivated me to succeed. They have allowed me to go to college and given me the opportunity to do big things here."
Mike Grima, Curtis' father, sees his son as a natural-born leader."He has always been driven -- in baseball, in school, everything. He's a planner and an organizer. His mom and I are really proud of him," Mike Grima said.
His father recalled that when Curtis Grima was looking at colleges, his mother and father wanted him to attend a junior college. Determined to go to Sac State, Curtis Grima sold his car to pay his first semester tuition.
"After that, we knew he was dedicated, and we backed him 100 percent," Mike Grima said. Patterson remembers Curtis Grima when he was a freshman just starting out in the fraternity."
He was really active. He wanted to get involved in the leadership right away. He was one of the most involved guys," Patterson said.
Curtis Grima said that people can rely on him."People know that if I say I am going to do something, I am going to see it through. It's one thing to be a visionary; it's another thing to implement your vision."
As a member of the College Republicans, Grima believes that people who don't know him well try to label him as something that he is not. Patterson is someone who believes to know him well.
"I believe that he is registered as a Republican, and I'm sure he holds those beliefs, but he is always fair. He never jumps to conclusions. He is very deliberative," Patterson said.
Grima said he enjoys outdoor activities to escape from his busy schedule, such as fishing and camping at Lake Tahoe.
"Getting up in the morning and catching a fish doesn't hurt either," he said with a smile.
Hummel said one of Grima's strengths is that he knows how to manage his time.
"He knows when it is time to work and when it is time to have a relationship. He does a good job of not bringing his school and work home," Hummel said.
On their spare time, Grima and Hummel enjoy going on trips to the mountains and to San Francisco, as well as taking their dog, Marley, to the park. Marley, an 8-month-old Jack Russell and Corgi mix, also serves as his 7 a.m. wake-up call on most mornings.
"I am really looking forward to taking Marley to the mountains this summer. I have friends who have dogs that like to swim, and I hope my dog swims with them," Grima said.
Currently, he is completing pre-requisites for the masters program in public policy administration.
He has applied to the Senate Fellows program at the State Capitol in hopes of continuing to advance his leadership and political skills. If he is accepted into the program, he will work on completing the masters program at Sac State after his time at the Capitol.
The first trustee meeting will be held March 11 in Long Beach.